2018 BMW X2 Review

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2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Kirk Bell Kirk Bell Editor
May 24, 2018

The 2018 BMW X2 has agile handling to match its sleek looks, and while it gives up some interior space for the low roofline, it still retains some crossover utility.

The 2018 BMW X2 is the devil-may-care baby sibling of the BMW X1. Both BMWs are small, front-whee-drive crossovers, but the X2 puts more emphasis on style and handling while giving up some utility. The crossovers seat five, at least on paper, offer all-wheel drive, and serve as an entry point to the BMW brand.

We rate the X2 a 6.6 out of 10, giving it points for its sharp looks, crisp handling, and spritely acceleration, but marking it down for a relative lack of utility, some cut-rate materials, and pricing that begs the question why you wouldn’t move up a class. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The X2 is new for 2018, and the most obvious difference between it and its older brother is its more adventurous styling. It shares no body panels with the X1, and the lines are stylized, as evidenced by the low roofline, gunslit windows, and even the twin kidney grille, which flares at the bottom.

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Those exterior changes compromise some of the X2’s interior space. It has less headroom, but that should only be a problem for very tall occupants. The back seat is still roomy for a vehicle in this class as well. Rear cargo volume drops by a few cubic feet compared to the X1, but the X2 still has more room than rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3. The interior materials are more mainstream than upscale.

The X2 is also more exciting than its sibling from behind the wheel. Its suspension is firmer, but it’s also tuned or better handling with more feel. The 2.0-liter turbo-4 has decent power, delivers surprising acceleration, and works well with the 8-speed automatic transmission.

Front-drive sDrive28i and all-wheel-drive xDrive28i models are offered. An M Sport X package features sportier suspension settings, 19-inch wheels, a sport transmission, a panoramic sunroof, an M Sport steering wheel, some interior amenities, and unique interior and exterior trim.

The X2 starts in the mid $30,000s, and BMW offers a variety of option packages and stand-alone options that an raise the price significantly.

Among those options are a two safety packages that include forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-departure warnings, and automatic high beams. No crash-test data is available yet.

EPA fuel economy ratings are available, though, and at 25 mpg combined with all-wheel drive, the X2 is one of the thriftier crossovers on the market when it comes to efficiency.

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2018 BMW X2

Styling

Set low and stylish, the 2018 BMW X2 blurs the lines between crossover and wagon.

The 2018 BMW X2 is a stylish version of the more traditional X1. It’s lower and shorter than the X1, with a sleeker, more stylish take on the crossover body style. We give it a 6 for styling, adding a point for its attractive exterior shape. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The X2 shares no body panels with the X1. It’s 3.2 inches shorter and its roof sits 2.8 inches lower even though both vehicles have the same 7.2 inches of ground clearance. While the roof is lower and BMW considers it part of its coupe-like group of crossovers, the roofline doesn’t taper as much at the rear as the X4 and X6 and that helps it retain a useful interior.

Compared to the X1, or any crossover on the market for that matter, the X2’s lines are stylized. The nose features a different take on the BMW twin-kidney grille, with the kidneys flaring at the bottom. Full LED headlights sit above a front fascia with larger air intakes at the corners, and the center portion of the lower fascia has a large intake as well.

Along the sides, the X2 has similar sculpting to the X1, with a sharp crease that runs through the door handles. The M Sport X trim features dark gray cladding over the wheels and along the lower rocker panel area, though body color cladding also peeks out at the bottom. The roof’s profile imparts a chopped look with slimmer windows, and the window line ends in the brand’s signature Hofmeister kink, finished with the BMW roundel in the rear roof pillar, something never before used on a BMW crossover.

The rear features a standard spoiler, with a more aggressive version on the M Sport X.

The look inside isn’t as exciting. It’s simple, with a large center screen atop the dash. Most of the controls are handled through the screen, but, thankfully, BMW has redundant buttons for the radio buttons and climate controls. Leatherette is standard, but real leather is available, and wood trim classes up the joint a bit, but the overall look is mid-market, not upmarket like most BMWs.

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2018 BMW X2

Performance

The 2018 BMW X2 satisfies with quick acceleration and car-like agility through corners.

Think of the X2 as the sport version of the X1. It has sportier suspension settings for all three of its suspension setups, though it comes with the same 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine, which is satisfyingly quick. Front- and all-wheel drive are offered. We give the X2 a 7 for performance, adding a point for the sprightly powertrain and another for the agile handling. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The X2 offers three different suspensions and they are all firmer than what you get in the X1. Not only that, but BMW gives the X2 more negative camber to plant more tire on the road when cornering, as well as different caster settings to improve steering feel.

The suspension options include a base setup; the M Sport X suspension with even firmer settings and a 0.4-inch lower ride height; and the Dynamic Handling package suspension with variable dampers, firmer suspension tuning, and the lower ride height.

So far, we’ve only driven the M Sport X version with all-wheel drive. It provides quick steering response, leans a bit in corners due to the 7.2 inches of ground clearance, and rotates willingly through turns thanks in part ot the Haldex AWD system and its programming. This system looks at steering input, yaw angle, and throttle position to determine driver style. If it senses aggressive driving, it proactively shifts power to the rear to give the X2 the character of a rear-drive vehicle.

This allows the X2 to flow well through corners, as the steering is relatively quick, and the AWD still provides plenty of traction to put the power down when accelerating out of corners.

The steering and suspension also provide a nice amount of feedback to let the driver know what’s going on at the road level. The brakes feature single-piston floating calipers front and rear, which isn’t a performance setup, but they’ll do fine for the street, and the ride was still comfortable in the M Sport X model we drove, even with its stiffer suspension.

Under the hood is the same 2.0-liter turbo-4 from the X1. It makes the same 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and features the same Aisin 8-speed automatic transmission (though the M Sport X gets a sport-tuned version).

This is a competent powertrain. The 0-60 sprint takes 6.3 seconds, and the engine works well with the transmission, though that character is variable.

A standard Driving Dynamic Control toggle offers Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport modes to customize the throttle, transmission, all-wheel drive, steering weight, and, when ordered, variable damper settings. The settings are predictable. Eco Pro dulls the powertrain, while Sport livens it up and adds some heft to the steering and some stiffness to the optional dampers.

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2018 BMW X2

Comfort & Quality

The X2’s styling robs it of some space, but it’s still fairly roomy and standard sport seats make it comfortable.

Inside, the X2 doesn’t have the space of the X1, but it does improve upon the X1’s flat, shapeless front seats with standard sport seats. While it has less space inside due to the styling, it is still class competitive. Materials are a mixed bag, with some soft-touch surfaces but some hard plastics showing through. We rate the X2 a 6 for comfort and quality, adding a point for rear seat space. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The X2’s standard sport seats have 10 power adjustments, including adjustable bolsters that will accommodate most any body type. They are much more supportive than the flat seats standard in the X1, though the alignment between the driver’s seat and steering wheel is still a bit off.

The rear seats have impressive space for a small crossover, and wide door openings mean passengers will be able to get in and out in easily.

BMW lowers the X2’s roofline 2.8 inches compared to the X1, so it doesn’t have as much head room front or rear. BMW lowers the seats a bit, so passengers lose about two inches of headroom. We found plenty of headroom in both rows, so this will only be an issue for the very tall.

The X2 is also 302 inches shorter than the X1 and that cuts into the rear cargo space. While the X1 offers 27.1 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 58.7 cubic feet with the seats down, the X2’s numbers are 21.6 and 50.1, respectively. While that makes the X2 less utilitarian, it still beats the Mercedes-Benz GLA’s 41.8 cubic feet and the Audi Q3’s 48.2 cubic feet of maximum space.

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2018 BMW X2

Safety

The 2018 BMW X2 has a good set of safety gear and generally good crash-tests.

The 2018 BMW X2 offers a decent set of optional safety features and has rated well in what crash testing has been performed.

The IIHS rated the X2 "Good" in all crash tests performed, although it earned an unusual "Acceptable" for its headrests. BMW has said it will update the X2's headrest design, but that probably won't happen until the 2019 model year.

Until the NHTSA smacks one into a wall, we can't assign it a score, however. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Standard safety equipment consists of six airbags and a rearview camera. An optional Driving Assistant Package features forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and speed limit information. The Active Driving Assistant + package gets adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams.

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2018 BMW X2

Features

The X2 is well equipped in base form, and BMW offers plenty of options but they can send the price into the stratosphere.

Like the X1, the X2 is well equipped, but it comes with even more standard features. It offers a variety of options, too, but be careful which you choose as they can send the price skyrocketing. We rate the X2 a 7 for features, adding points for a good basic feature set and a large center screen. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

BMW offers the 2018 X2 in front-drive sDrive28i and all-wheel-drive xDrive28i models. All models come standard with LED headlights and fog lights, leatherette upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable front sport seats with driver’s side memory, a 6.5-inch center screen for the iDrive infotainment system, an AM/FM/CD audio system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a USB port, a rearview camera, a power liftgate, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

In total, the X2 has $1,800 worth of extra standard equipment compared to the X1, and it costs $2,500 more, according to a BMW spokesman.

An M Sport X package adds a sport transmission, a panoramic sunroof, firmer suspension settings, an M Sport steering wheel, a universal garage door opener, power-folding exterior mirrors, keyless entry and starting, a panoramic sunroof, satellite radio, special interior and exterior trim, and 19-inch wheels.

A Dynamic Handling package features variable dampers, as well as firmer suspension settings.

A Premium package adds heated front seats, a head-up display, remote services, and an 8.8-inch screen with navigation and real-time traffic information. A Convenience package adds a universal garage-door opener, auto-dimming rearview and exterior mirrors, power-folding mirrors, satellite radio with a one-year subscription, keyless access and starting, a panoramic sunroof, and lumbar support.

A Driving Assistant Package adds forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and speed limit information. Active Driving Assistant + adds adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams.

Also available are leather upholstery, front and rear parking sensors, wireless charging with a Wi-Fi hotspot, a heated steering wheel, Apple CarPlay, and a Harman Kardon audio system.

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2018 BMW X2

Fuel Economy

The 2018 BMW X2 is efficient for a crossover, be it luxury or not.

The 2018 BMW X2 is fuel efficient for a crossover, luxury or not. It may not be the most efficient crossover on the market, but it balances efficiency with sportiness and luxury, and it uses no electrification or diesel fuel to achieve its numbers.

The EPA rates the all-wheel-drive X2 xDrive28i at 22 mpg city, 31 highway, 25 combined. Those numbers are good enough for a 7 out of 10 on our ratings scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The front-drive X2 sDrive28i is not yet rated but the similar X1 with front-wheel drive is rated at 23/32/26. Expect similar for the X2.

BMW recommends premium gasoline for all X2s.

The X2’s rating makes it more efficient than the Audi Q3 but not quite as thrifty as the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

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6.6
Overall
Expert Rating
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Styling 6
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety N/A
Features 7
Fuel Economy 7
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